Friday, June 12, 2015

Parsha Shelach Lecha, stories and more

 Prayers needed: Masha Rivka bas Shaindel, Menachem Mendel ben Michal

Video showing the burn victim that we are praying for at her Bas Mitzvah it does not take a genius in reading the wisdom of faces to see that she is in pain and stress as she is filmed. Her body is still undergoing all sorts of treatments.

Parsha Shelach Lecha

13:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 2 'Send thou men, that they may spy out the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel; of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, everyone a prince among them.' 

The double repeating of the word Ish indicates individuals and those of caliper and yet they formed a conspiracy union to continue being leaders in the desert and not nobody among farmers in the land. In the desert they had a welfare type of existence while in the land they had to work.

Rashi mentions that this section is put next to that of Miriam for the spies should have learned the danger of Lashon HaRa and did not learn it. Rashi goes on “Send for yourself men” – I am not commanding you but if you wish send out some to gather intelligence. [This is the problem with human intelligence that is not recorded on film for one is a prisoner to the thoughts and fears of the spy and perhaps his political beliefs. Imagine a member of the left and Rabbi Meir Kahane HY”D spying on the same situation and bringing back a report. Yehoshua was a Talmud Chacham and Calev was a G-D fearing man who prayed for the guidance and help of his forefathers.] For HASHEM had told Moshe that it is a good land and later on a land flowing with milk and honey. He did not need spies but just go ahead. We who do not have such Hanhagah as Moshe and Yehoshua so we need intelligence gathering but we see that even with good intelligence before the Yom Kippur War the misconception by the leadership and generals led to a surprise attack. We need Chashgacha Pratius in our endeavors but in 1973 our ‘leadership’ ignored HASHEM.   

3 And Moses sent them from the wilderness of Paran according to the commandment of the LORD; all of them men who were heads of the children of Israel. 4 And these were their names: of the tribe of Reuben, Shammua the son of Zaccur. 5 Of the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat the son of Hori. 6 Of the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh. 7 Of the tribe of Issachar, Igal the son of Joseph. 8 Of the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea the son of Nun. 9 Of the tribe of Benjamin, Palti the son of Raphu. 10 Of the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel the son of Sodi. 11 Of the tribe of Joseph, namely, of the tribe of Manasseh, Gaddi the son of Susi. 12 Of the tribe of Dan, Ammiel the son of Gemalli. 13 Of the tribe of Asher, Sethur the son of Michael. 14 Of the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi the son of Vophsi. 15 Of the tribe of Gad, Geuel the son of Machi. 16 These are the names of the men that Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Hoshea the son of Nun Joshua. 17 And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them: 'Get you up here into the South, and go up into the mountains; 18 and see the land, what it is; and the people that dwells therein, whether they are strong or weak, whether they are few or many; 19 and what the land is that they dwell in, whether it is good or bad; and what cities they are that they dwell in, whether in camps, or in strongholds; 20 and what the land is, whether it is fat or lean, whether there is wood therein, or not.  הֲיֵשׁ בָּהּ עֵץ 

 הֲיֵשׁ בָּהּ עֵץ  according to the Zohar it is not Etz for wood but Etz for tree and not trees but rather after the prophecy of Eldad and Medad, Moshe wondered if the tree of life was in it is the tree of life Etz Ha Chaim or not. However, that tree only existed in the world in the land prior to the expulsion from Gan Eden. For Moshe knew that if the Etz Ha Chaim was in the land, he could enter and if not most likely he could not.

And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land.'--Now the time was the time of the first-ripe grapes.—

Moshe said this to Yehoshua and then HASHEM tells Yehoshua in Chapter 1 of Sefer Yehoshua to be strong and of courage.

21 So they went up, and spied out the land from the wilderness of Zin unto Rehob, at the entrance to Hamath. 

22 And they went up into the South, and came unto Hebron; and Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the children of Anak, were there.--Now Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.—

The land of Canaan was older in civilization that Mitzrayim. The three giant sized men are mentioned as they certain scared these shorter former slaves the mentality to be servitude to a physically greater power. Rashi says they explored the land length and width like a Greek Gama.

23 And they came unto the valley of Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bore it upon a pole between two; they took also of the pomegranates, and of the figs.—

The fruit was so large that it two people to move the fruit. The same with the figs, etc. They were extremely large.

24 That place was called the valley of Eshcol, because of the cluster which the children of Israel cut down from thence.—

Eshkol means cluster in Hebrew.

25 And they returned from spying out the land at the end of forty days. 26 And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. 

At first the congregation was amazed by the fruit. With the proper amount of rain for example I had a few Pamelas that were almost the size of a man’s head and a number of lemons that were about 2/3rds my fist so I can easily imagine a time in a more fertile land where fruit grew larger. Why more fertile for the erosion of a barren land had not occurred and the rape of the land by the Romans were over a thousand years away.

27 And they told him, and said: 'We came unto the land whither thou sent us, and surely it flows with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. 

Have you ever witnessed people who know how to lie? At first they start out with the truth about something and then tell their lie or deception in order to make it look credible. This is how Madoff worked. He gave the first people 10% per year even though he did not invest money in their name and he did what he did syphoning off money into a place nobody knows. After all he was the former head of the NASDAQ. This is what the spies did first their produced credible evidence of a land flowing with milk and honey.

28 Howbeit the people that dwell in the land are fierce, and the cities are fortified, and very great; and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. 

A while back, I produced a website with skeletons of a giant human species. I saw sites claiming it was a hoax but they were claims with no proof of faking the photos. One thing is certain somebody 8 ft. or more in height existed. The bed of Og was over 12 feet in length and he had to fit inside. The giants shown in the photo would have been taller and harder for them to move about as there is a physical limit to the structure of the human bone. Goliard was about 9 ft. tall and David about 5 to 5’ 2” tall so that was sight to witness.

29 Amalek dwells in the land of the South; and the Hittite, and the Jebusite, and the Amorite, dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanite dwells by the sea, and along by the side of the Jordan.' 

What gave these people such a yellow streak because of the funerals happening in the land and the people were too busy mourning to notice the spies.

30 And Caleb stilled the people toward Moses, and said: 'We should go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.' 

Calev realized that an army of 600,000 could easily attack their cities and forts not to mention the fact that HASHEM promised to fight for them.

31 But the men that went up with him said: 'We are not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.' 

In the gym in the States I have seen body builders that look intimidating with their strength and they make my all muscle personal trainer look like a weakling but what is their numbers and military training after all at this point the Bnei Yisrael with muscles from building Pyramids had a lot of core strength and a year of basic military training on a daily (not-Shabbos/Yom Tov) basis. Even at my age and weight, if I had daily training, I would be prepared for all eventualities. This is just the opposite to shorty David with fear of HASHEM going against Goliad. 

32 And they spread an evil report of the land which they had spied out unto the children of Israel, saying: 'The land, through which we have passed to spy it out, is a land that eats up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of great stature. 

Eats up – with all the funerals. (Lashon HaRa can be true or partially true). The fruit and fertileness of the land gave them the ability to grow tall. Remember Shaul was six feet tall or more.

33 And there we saw the Nephilim, the sons of Anak, who come of the Nephilim; and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.'

Their fear made them feel like grasshoppers.

14:1 And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. 

The spies returned Erev Tisha B’Av and gave the report in the evening at the entrance to 9th of Av 2450. This time they wept in vain but in the future they will weep and mourn. Rashi cites Medrash Tanchuma Shelach 13 that this included members of the Sanhedrin who should have known better.

2 And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron; and the whole congregation said unto them: 'Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would we had died in this wilderness! 

Egypt was the same society with the ability to kill male children in the river. This was the Egypt that beat their slaves and gave them cruel tasks like men doing women’s work and women doing men’s work. This was the same Egypt that saw expendable slaves. Now they forgot so fast and want to return! They wished that they would have died in Egypt. Omar HASHEM “By your lives, you will die in the desert!”

3 And wherefore doth the LORD bring us unto this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will be a prey; were it not better for us to return into Egypt?' 4 And they said one to another: 'Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.' 

Rashi says it means let us choose a head that will bring us back to Mitzrayim.  The revolution is in full swing now and they go to confront Moshe.

5 Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. 

Moshe and Aaron say Tachanun before HASHEM. They are at their wits end at this point.

6 And Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Yephunneh, who were of them that spied out the land, rent their clothes. 7 And they spoke unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: 'The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceeding good land. 8 If the LORD delight in us, then He will bring us into this land, and give it unto us--a land which floweth with milk and honey. 9 Only rebel not against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us; their defense is removed from over them, and the LORD is with us; fear them not.' 10 But all the congregation bade stone them with stones, when the glory of the LORD appeared in the tent of meeting unto all the children of Israel. 

Both Yehoshua and Calev are risking their lives. Mesuras Nefesh Mamash to stand up for the Truth and defend Mosh and Aaron. At this point HASHEM intervenes and we shall see who will be rewarded and who will be punished. 

11 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'How long will this people despise Me? and how long will they not believe in Me, for all the signs which I have wrought among them? 12 I will smite them with the pestilence, and destroy them, and will make of thee a nation greater and mightier than they.' 

It is like with the time of the Egel HaZahav, HASHEM is infuriated at the people and ready to completely destroy these ungreats and refine the nation and rebuild a new one. 

13 And Moses said unto the LORD: 'When the Egyptians shall hear--for Thou brought up this people in Thy might from among them-- 14 they will say to the inhabitants of this land, who have heard that Thou LORD art in the midst of this people; inasmuch as Thou LORD art seen face to face, and Thy cloud stands over them, and Thou go before them, in a pillar of cloud by day, and in a pillar of fire by night; 15 now if Thou shalt kill this people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of Thee will speak, saying: 16 Because the LORD was not able to bring this people into the land which He swore unto them, therefore He hath slain them in the wilderness. 

Dear L-RD if you destroy them, you will make a big Chilul HASHEM for look what he Goyim will say.

17 And now, I pray Thee, let the power of the LORD be great, according as Thou hast spoken, saying: 18 The LORD is slow to anger, and plenteous in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation. 19 Pardon, I pray Thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of Thy lovingkindness, and according as Thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.' 20 And the LORD said: 'I have pardoned according to thy word. 21 But in very deed, as I live--and all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD-- 22 surely all those men that have seen My glory, and My signs, which I wrought in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have put Me to proof these ten times, and have not hearkened to My voice; 23 surely they shall not see the land which I swore unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that despised Me see it. 24 But My servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed Me fully, him will I bring into the land where into he went; and his seed shall possess it. 25 Now the Amalekite and the Canaanite dwell in the Vale; tomorrow turn ye, and get you into the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea.' 

HASHEM has removed HIS Chashgacha from this foolish adventure and you will die sooner. They became the bones in the valley of dry bones. (Yechezkel 37:1 - 14) 

26 And the LORD spoke unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying: 27 'How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, that keep murmuring against Me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they keep murmuring against Me. 28 Say unto them: As I live, says the LORD, surely as ye have spoken in Mine ears, so will I do to you: 29 your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness, and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, ye that have murmured against Me; 

There are two words in Hebrew for dead bodies. One is corpse used for humans and carcass used for animals. In this case “You will become Pagarim and die like animals!”

30 surely ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I lifted up My hand that I would make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Yephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. 31 But your little ones, that ye said would be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have rejected. 32 But as for you, your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness. 33 And your children shall be wanderers in the wilderness forty years, and shall bear your strayings, until your carcasses be consumed in the wilderness. 

All those who were between 20 and 60 when they left Egypt. Some did Teshuva or perhaps did not participate in the Egel or complaints but rather did not take the side of Moshe and Aaron like brave Yehoshua and Calev. In the oral Torah there were 15,000 who survived in the last year on Tisha B’Av.

34 After the number of the days in which ye spied out the land, even forty days, for every day a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know My displeasure. 35 I the LORD have spoken, surely this will I do unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against Me; in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.' 36 And the men, whom Moses sent to spy out the land, and who, when they returned, made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up an evil report against the land, 37 even those men that did bring up an evil report of the land, died by the plague before the LORD. 38 But Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Yephunneh, remained alive of those men that went to spy out the land. 39 And Moses told these words unto all the children of Israel; and the people mourned greatly. 40 And they rose up early in the morning, and got them up to the top of the mountain, saying: 'Lo, we are here, and will go up unto the place which the LORD hath promised; for we have sinned.' 

The greatness of Am Yisrael is not when they do things right but when they repeat from having done wrong.

41 And Moses said: 'Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of the LORD, seeing it shall not prosper? 42 Go not up, for the LORD is not among you; that ye be not smitten down before your enemies. 43 For there the Amalekite and the Canaanite are before you, and ye shall fall by the sword; forasmuch as ye are turned back from following the LORD, and the LORD will not be with you.' 44 But they presumed to go up to the top of the mountain; nevertheless the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and Moses, departed not out of the camp. 45 Then the Amalekite and the Canaanite, who dwelt in that hill-country, came down, and smote them and beat them down, even unto Hormah.

So those wise guys died and were left in the valley to be bones.

15:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them: When ye are come into the land of your habitations, which I give unto you, 3 and will make an offering by fire unto the LORD, a burnt-offering, or a sacrifice, in fulfilment of a vow clearly uttered, or as a freewill-offering, or in your appointed seasons, to make a sweet savor unto the LORD, of the herd, or of the flock; 4 then shall he that brings his offering present unto the LORD a meal-offering of a tenth part of an ephah of fine flour mingled with the fourth part of a hin of oil; 5 and wine for the drink-offering, the fourth part of a hin, shalt thou prepare with the burnt-offering or for the sacrifice, for each lamb. 6Or for a ram, thou shalt prepare for a meal-offering two tenth parts of an ephah of fine flour mingled with the third part of a hin of oil; 7 and for the drink-offering thou shalt present the third part of a hin of wine, of a sweet savor unto the LORD. 8 And when thou prepare a bullock for a burnt-offering, or for a sacrifice, in fulfilment of a vow clearly uttered, or for peace-offerings unto the LORD; 9 then shall there be presented with the bullock a meal-offering of three tenth parts of an ephah of fine flour mingled with half a hin of oil. 10 And thou shalt present for the drink-offering half a hin of wine, for an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the LORD. 11 Thus shall it be done for each bullock, or for each ram, or for each of the he-lambs, or of the kids. 12 According to the number that ye may prepare, so shall ye do for every one according to their number. 13 All that are home-born shall do these things after this manner, in presenting an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the LORD. 14 And if a stranger sojourn with you, or whosoever may be among you, throughout your generations, and will offer an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the LORD; as ye do, so he shall do.15 As for the congregation, there shall be one statute both for you, and for the stranger that sojourns with you, a statute forever throughout your generations; as ye are, so shall the stranger be before the LORD. 16 One law and one ordinance shall be both for you, and for the stranger that sojourns with you. 

You cannot ignore the juxtaposition of the punishment of the spies with the laws of sacrifices after entering the land. This tells us clear that even though Yisrael sinned they will in the future enter the land and be there for many generations.

17 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 18 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them: When ye come into the land whither I bring you, 19 then it shall be, that, when ye eat of the bread of the land, ye shall set apart a portion for a gift unto the LORD. 20 Of the first of your dough ye shall set apart a cake for a gift; as that which is set apart of the threshing-floor, so shall ye set it apart. 21 Of the first of your dough ye shall give unto the LORD a portion for a gift throughout your generations. 

This is the Mitzvah of Challah – not the Challah of Shabbos but the setting aside of dough or bread for the Cohain which is 1/48 for a baker and 1/24 for a householder.

22 And when ye shall err, and not observe all these commandments, which the LORD hath spoken unto Moses, 23 even all that the LORD hath commanded you by the hand of Moses, from the day that the LORD gave commandment, and onward throughout your generations; 24 then it shall be, if it be done in error by the congregation, it being hid from their eyes, that all the congregation shall offer one young bullock for a burnt-offering, for a sweet savor unto the LORD--with the meal-offering thereof, and the drink-offering thereof, according to the ordinance--and one he-goat for a sin-offering. 25 And the priest shall make atonement for all the congregation of the children of Israel, and they shall be forgiven; for it was an error, and they have brought their offering, an offering made by fire unto the LORD, and their sin-offering before the LORD, for their error. 26 And all the congregation of the children of Israel shall be forgiven, and the stranger that sojourns among them; for in respect of all the people it was done in error. 27 And if one person sin through error, then he shall offer a she-goat of the first year for a sin-offering. 28 And the priest shall make atonement for the soul that errs, when he sins through error, before the LORD, to make atonement for him; and he shall be forgiven, 29 both he that is home-born among the children of Israel, and the stranger that sojourns among them: ye shall have one law for him that does aught in error. 

This is Shogeg and is forgiven quickly as a person did not rebel against G-D but erred in practice or belief.

30 But the soul that doeth aught with a high hand, whether he be home-born or a stranger, the same blasphemes the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people. 31 Because he hath despised the word of the LORD, and hath broken His commandment; that soul shall utterly be cut off, his iniquity shall be upon him. 

This blasphemy would be Mayzid or with intent and that is more than an accident but the cutting off and if there were two witness possibly death of the individual.

32 And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks upon the Sabbath day. 33 And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. 34 And they put him in ward, because it had not been declared what should be done to him. 

The man knew it was Shabbos and he knew it was forbidden. For if he did not realize at the moment it was Shabbos or he did not remember the Halacha forbidding the gathering of items, he would not but to death but would have to bring a Korban Chatas.

35 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'The man shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp.' 36 And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died, as the LORD commanded Moses. 

He was killed by the witnesses before the Sanhedrin to rid the evil of desecration of the Shabbos as a black mark against Yisrael.

37 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 38 'Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them throughout their generations fringes in the corners of their garments, and that they put with the fringe of each corner a thread of blue. 39 And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye go not about after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go astray; 40 that ye may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy unto your God. 41 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD your God.'

This is the third and last Paragraph of the Shema and recited in the morning and evening prays. It is a merit to have the Tzitzis hanging out of one’s pants at the side. I did so for years but it in part stifled my employment advance in this world. Once in an army training exercise they got caught on a bush. They interfered with my pulling out my pistol and call unnecessary attention to me outside of Israel in my travels. Lastly, I worked at night while going to Yeshiva during the day and supporting a wife in the General Post Office in Brooklyn NY and a Satmar Chassid told me to put them in at work as once a fellow employee cut his thinking they were strings hanging out of his pants. However you want to wear them (men only are commanded as they deal with time = day time) you should have them on but perhaps inside your pants. We do not have proper Techelles today so they need not be blue or bluish until the Moshiach tells us how to obtain the proper color.  

This week’s Haphtarah – Sefer Yehoshua Chapter 2: Every once in a while, I associate news with the Parsha. This week we learn about the spies and Rachav, who worked in the oldest profession a bake shop which supplied other hospitalities to customers. The Jerusalem Post had this article which sort of matches some knowledge that I have of a former Playboy Model applying for conversion who is black and a friend told me about the former Malaysian Bunny from Vegas.

An Afro-America’s Journey to Judaism by Jasmin Haikali

When you think of Shavuot, you might be reminded of staying up all night learning or eating cheesecake. A lesser known custom is reading the Book of Ruth. There are many reasons for this custom, the first being that Shavuot is a festival of harvest, and the setting for Ruth is harvest-time. Furthermore, Ruth was the great-grandmother of King David, who is said to have been born and died on Shavuot. But perhaps the most intriguing reason for reading the Book of Ruth on Shavuot is the similarity between Ruth and the Jewish people: just like Ruth became a Ger Tzedek, a sincere convert, and fully accepted the Torah and all its commandments, so too did the Jewish people accept the Torah and its commandments on Mount Sinai on Shavuot.
Ruth the Moabitess is a primary example of a righteous convert who embraced Judaism despite all the adversity and obstacles that she faced. But the concept of a righteous convert is definitely not an exclusively biblical one. Sincere converts can be in our day and age and even in our own community; Shariff Mordechai Hazan is one such individual.
Hazan, an executive music producer, was born and raised in a traditional African American household in the San Fernando Valley. He was the firstborn of Dwight, an insurance provider, and Angela, a USC professor. His grandparents were Christian preachers who practiced Sufism, a mixture of Kabbalah and Islamic beliefs. Hazan attended Calabasas high school, and with his outgoing personality and his interest in the entertainment industry, he became the talk of the class. “I guess you can say I was the popular guy that everyone wanted to be friends with. I was friends with everyone and socialized with every type of nationality during my high school and college years,” chuckled Hazan reminiscently.
So what was it that intrigued this music producer to convert to Judaism? One day after a business meeting, Hazan met up for coffee with his close friend Marci, a member of the Kabbalah Centre in Los Angeles. Upon leaving the coffee shop, a curious Hazan went with Marci to the Centre, and what he thought would just be a few minutes of checking out the center turned into hours and his “daily agenda.” That same day, Hazan met Yehuda Berg, a mentor at the Centre who assisted him in learning the Bible and the Hebrew language.
Six years later, at a Friday night dinner at the Kabbalah Centre, Hazan — along with other worshippers — headed over to Aish HaTorah, a synagogue on Pico, to listen to a lecture by Rabbi Yitz Jacobs. Rabbi Jacobs’ lecture reaffirmed Hazan’s decision of converting and inspired Hazan to further grow his spirituality and connection to Judaism on a more Orthodox level of observance. At Aish, he met Rabbi Menachem Weiss of Nessah Synagogue whose interest in music grabbed Hazan’s attention. After hours of talking, Rabbi Weiss told Hazan about a GoSephardic Shabbaton that was happening at Nessah in Beverly Hills. “It was just a regular Friday night dinner, but this dinner was one of the most powerful and experiential dinners I have ever been to in my entire life. Seeing family and friends gathering around a table on a Friday night eating, laughing and bonding with one another just touched my soul,” said Hazan.
At this point, Hazan still hadn’t fully converted. However, after six years at the Kabbalah Centre, Hazan decided to embark on the conversion process under Orthodox guidance. With the help of Rabbi Weiss, Hazan studied Hebrew while attending morning services and influential lectures to help him grow as a converting Jew. A few months later, Hazan was introduced to Rabbi Hafuta of Dat Torah in Los Angeles. Hazan explained, “Rabbi Hafuta was involved massively with the process of my conversion. He took me to the mikvah (ritual bath) and performed my brit milah (circumcision).” At last, after eight years of commitment and hard work, Shariff Mordechai Hazan’s quest to become a Jew was complete.
As a thirty-two-year-old African American convert, Hazan spoke about his treatment from other Jews. “I always considered myself Jewish before I converted. My friends in high school would call me the ‘Black Jew’ all the time, so I don’t feel out of place. The community is extremely loving and always makes me feel like family.”
Hazan has gotten involved in the Jewish community and is an active member of many organizations, such as Nessah’s LeDor VaDor group. Hazan also preaches and shares his story to many students at private and public high schools in Los Angeles. He shares his thoughts and reasoning behind his conversion at such a young age in his life. “I feel like the tools of Judaism can help me through life and to live the right way. G-d gave the Jews the Torah and took them out of Egypt. I feel like whatever we lack in life is a metaphor to the bondage of Jews in Egypt. Following the rules of the Torah is like getting out of our personal Egypt and obstacles we encounter. Judaism’s ideology guides us on how to connect to love, happiness and whatever our purpose is to grow as a person.”
Hazan reflects further on his beliefs on the way G-d works and communicates with Jews. ”Judaism made me realize that whatever G-d gives you at the time is for your own best, though we may not think so at the moment. Before I converted, I always felt like whatever happened to me had no reason. After converting I felt more spiritual and understood G-d.”
As a board member of LeDor VaDor myself, I closed the interview with my LeDor VaDor brother by asking what advice he has for people who want to convert. “Conversion is the most amazing spiritual journey someone can go on, and it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. This was the greatest gift and I want to be there for anyone who has questions or thoughts of converting. It took me eight years to convert, but it was the best decision I made in my life. Judaism isn’t just a religion; it’s the way of life.”
It is interesting that with the majority of Jews in the USA Ashkenazim that one without a Latino or Spanish Background would chose the Sephardic way.

Nitza posted something that is real “Love thy neighbor as thyself”: A friends was hurting and we talked for hours. She shared with me all the things that have gone wrong in her life, marriage, and raising her kids. At the end, she looked at me with tears in her eyes and said "what do I have to be thankful for"?
Without hesitating I looked at her and said do you know that for every heartbeat you have for every breath that you take every time you blink your eyes every time your longs inflate, there is HASHEM watching over you making sure that everything works so that you can sit here in front of me and cry....... She held me so tight for about 5 minutes and said, do you know how amazing you are? The highest level of charity is to get a poor man a reasonable job and the highest level of friendship is to understand the pain of a friend and listen and help.

From Chaim B: The Photo that alerted the world Story below photo see:

This is a photo shot on the streets of Munich, Germany on 10th March 1933; just six weeks after Hitler came to power.  The picture, published across the world and later in many history books, was a chilling portent of the hellish events that were about to consume Germany and much of the rest of the planet.  Many have seen this photo, but few know the background behind it.

Dr Michael Siegel, an eminent 50-year-old German Jewish lawyer, is shown in the photo, bruised, barefoot, trousers ripped, being marched by Nazi ‘brown-shirt’ auxiliary police.   The sign hanging from his neck was scrawled with the message,  ‘Ich bin Jude, aber ich werde mich nie mehr bei der Polizei beschweren’  ‘I am a Jew, but I will never again complain to the police’.

The day before this fateful photo was shot, the Nazis took over municipal control of Munich.  A national emergency decree had just been passed to suspend ‘civil rights until further notice’, including the constitutional right to free speech, the freedom of the person, and the inviolability of a citizen’s property.  In particular, Jews and Communists were targeted, and all Jewish lawyers were to be banned from practising or even entering the courts.     

That day, Herr Max Uhlfelder, Jewish owner of Munich’s second largest department store that bore his family name, prepared to go to work as usual.  His shop, owned and run by his family since 1878, employed around 1,000 staff and had some 7,000 square metres of sales space.  A highlight of the store was the modern electric escalators that effortlessly transported customers up or down the three floors of this popular household and haberdashery store.   

That day however wasn't usual, but what happened was to become usual in Germany under Hitler’s reign.  Nazi Stormtroopers smashed the windows of the Uhlfelder store, and Max, along with 280 other Jewish Munich inhabitants, was taken to Dachau concentration camp for so-called ‘protective custody’. 

Max’s wife, desperate to find help for her husband, phoned Dr Michael Siegel, their family friend and lawyer.  Michael immediately made arrangements to attend Munich’s police headquarters to complain that his client’s civil rights had been violated.  Next morning, Friday 10th March 1933, Dr Siegel, smartly dressed as usual, reached the headquarters at the appointed time.  On entering the police station, Dr Siegel was told that he was expected and shown to a basement interview room.  

However, once inside, instead of facing the usual police officer, Dr Siegel was confronted by a group of Nazi ‘Sturm Abteilung’ – storm troopers, who had been recruited as ‘auxiliary policemen’ by the newly appointed head of the Munich Police, Heinrich Himmler.

The burly men immediately unleashed a torrent of blows against the defenceless Dr Siegel.  They knocked out some of his front teeth, perforated an ear drum, threw away his shoes and cut short his trousers.   Blooded and bruised, a board was then hung from his neck bearing the notice that he was Jewish and would never again complain to the police.

Dr Siegel was then kicked out of the police station and made to march, barefoot and in his white “unterhosen” (underpants).  The Nazi ‘police officers’, about seven in total, led him around Munich’s inner city streets, taking him on a circuitous journey, across Munich’s Karlsplatz (central square), and eventually ending up at the main train station. 

On the way a few passersby looked on shocked, some stared with bemused curiosity, but others mocked and ridiculed, as Dr Siegel looked straight ahead, his eyes fixed, swallowing the blood from his broken teeth.

As the brown-shirted bullies arrived with their ‘captive’ just outside Munich train station, they ordered him to stand still. Then, drunk with derision, they loaded their rifles.   One of the officers yelled, ‘Jetzt stirbst du, Jud!’ – ‘Now you die, Jew!’  The storm troopers then scornfully laughed, about turned, and left. 

Fortunately, a vacant taxi was nearby.  As Michael Siegel was about to get in, a man approached him.  In an English or American accent, he said that he’d taken a photo, and could he have permission to publish it?  Dr Siegel said yes, then got in the taxi and asked to be taken home to 10 Possartstrasse in the Bogenhausen area of Munich.

At home was his daughter Beate, looking forward to her 8th birthday party in just four days time.  She had stayed home in bed that day with a cold.  When she heard the key in the front door, and footsteps entering the apartment, she thought it was her mum coming back from shopping.   Strangely, she didn't come to see her.  

Beate thought something must be wrong.  She got up and saw her father’s tattered and blood drenched clothes hanging on the hooks outside the bathroom.   It was a huge shock, and she couldn’t have any idea what had happened.  She knocked on her parent’s bedroom door, and hesitantly opened it, but her father had pulled up the eiderdown to hide his pale, bruised and blood stained face.  

‘Wait till your mother comes home,’ he said in a pained voice.  Beate realized that something truly awful had happened.  

Mathilde Siegel later told Beate and her 12-year-old brother, Peter, an outline of what had happened to their father, but not the full detail.   Eventually, Dr Siegel recovered from his injuries, and didn't have to recover his pride or dignity, as those he had never lost.  Over the next few years before the start of the war, he tried many times to practice law again, but being Jewish in Nazi Germany, that was made impossible.

Look again more carefully at the photo of Dr Michael Siegel being marched along the streets of Munich by his Nazi tormentors.  This was a man who was shockingly brutalized, and came home bloodied and bruised and awfully betrayed by his country.  But despite the shock of being demeaned in such a disgusting way, his head is still high as he walks barefoot along the streets of Munich, those brown-shirted Nazi thugs goading him along.  The Nazis were eventually beaten into submission, but not Dr Michael Siegel. With his wife in 1940, they escaped the Hitler dictatorship by taking a trans-Siberian train across the Soviet Union to Japan from where they embarked a ship to Peru, which they made their new home. 

Years later Dr Siegel was asked what was going through his mind as he was being beaten and then forced to march across the city?   He replied that he was thinking, 'I’ll survive all of you.'  And so he did.  Dr Siegel lived to 97 years, and enjoyed 50 years of marriage with his wife, Mathilde.

What happened to the shop owner that Dr Siegel tried to save?  Max Uhlfelder remained incarcerated in the Dachau concentration camp with his son, where many were severely brutalized and several died.  In the ‘Kristallnacht’ Nazi attacks on Jewish properties across Germany in November 1938, his department store was ransacked, set on fire and its doors left open for several days.   The store was later ‘confiscated’ by the Nazi regime.

In January 1939, some eight months before the start of World War II, Max and his son were released from Dachau, and the family managed to obtain a visa to India, guaranteeing their survival from certain death if they had stayed in Germany.    Before leaving Germany, they were stripped of all their assets and even made to pay for the repairs of their ruined department store.

What about Peter, Dr Siegel's young son?  By 1939, with world war imminent and attacks on Jews and their property becoming more brutal, sinister and murderous, it was obvious that Germany, which had been the home and nationality for hundreds of years of Siegel ancestors, was no longer safe.   With the help of his dad, Peter then aged 18, managed to get a student visa to England on strict condition that he left when his studies were complete.   War changed that condition.  He joined the British Army and after the war England became his ‘adopted’ country.  Peter became an expert in minerals and metals, and managing director of a successful multinational company based in London.

And Beate, what happened to her, the young girl whose 8th birthday was never to be what it was meant to be, dark clouded by the savage attack against her dad and his unforgettably shocking and bloodied homecoming?

Well, this week I met the daughter of the man in the photo that alerted the world to the terror of the Nazis.

Bea, as she likes to be known, is a wonderful octogenarian who survived the Nazis and who also sought refuge in England and made it her home.  Together on Wednesday evening, we sat and watched the remarkable documentary in which she features, ‘The Children Who Cheated The Nazis’, at a special showing of the film at The Wiener Library in London.  

The documentary was produced in 2000 by compassionate film makers Sue Read and Jim Goulding, and first aired on Channel Four.  It tells the story of how, in the months leading up to  World War II, around 10,000 mostly Jewish children were rescued from  Nazi Germany, Austria, Poland, Czechoslovakia and the ‘free city’ of Danzig, by coming to England unaccompanied on a series of special trains and boats known as the ‘Kindertransport’  

There were strict conditions.  The children were not allowed to stay in England permanently, and their parents were not allowed to travel with them.  For the children, and their parents, it was to be the most heart-wrenching separation of their lives.  Most of the children never saw their parents again, as they were later murdered by the Nazi regime.  

To be allowed into England, each child required sponsorship of £50, an enormous amount back in 1939, and a family to look after them.   Huge efforts were made to save as many children as possible, and the British public raised half-a-million pounds towards the rescue effort.  When war was declared less than a year after the Kindertransport mission started, the Nazis wouldn't allow any more children to leave.

With her parents help, Bea , then aged 14, managed to be selected to join one of the children’s ‘freedom’ trains, soon after her older brother Peter had also made his escape to England.    At midnight on Monday 26 June 1939, Bea joined several other bewildered and tearful children on the platform at Munich train station.  As steam bellowed from underneath the train, and the Nazi soldiers sharply separated the youngsters from their heart-broken and often unsure parents, Bea climbed the steep steps onto the train.  With just one small suitcase, all she was permitted to take, Bea joined a compartment full of other children, not one adult amongst them, apart from the stern and disapproving looks of Nazi officials and guards. 

Through the train windows the children and parents frantically waved each other goodbye, none of them knowing when they’d be with each other again, none of them realising that almost all of them never would.

Through the midnight hours, away from the daylight gaze of publicity, the Jewish children’s train made its long 550 mile night journey north across the heart of Nazi Germany, through Nuremburg, Frankfurt and Cologne, over the border into Holland, and a waiting boat to England from the Hook of Holland.  Bea was sponsored by an elderly English non-Jewish widow, and later studied modern languages at the University of London.  Like many of the kinder children, who had no choice, Bea settled in England.  She married twice, has three sons and six grandchildren, and became a magistrate.

Bea, and her brother Peter, did see their parents again, but never again did they share the same family home together.  The documentary in which she features, ‘The Children Who Cheated The Nazis’, is an accurate and carefully reported account that deserves much wider viewing.  It’s true that the children of the ‘Kindertransport’ cheated the Nazis out of slaughtering them, which for sure the Nazis would have done if these youngsters had stayed behind. But the Nazi regime also cheated these children out of the childhood, family, and future that they should have had.

Bea told me she feels lucky.  Luck of course is relative.  She, her brother Peter, and her parents Michael and Mathilde, were lucky to find liberation from the Nazis, as was store owner Max Uhlfelder and his family.  They were the ‘lucky ones’; the few who ‘got away’, because most, the vast majority, didn’t manage to escape as they did.  Yet this ‘relative luck’ came with the price of losing their family life; their savings and belongings; their country of birth, and their relatives and friends who were left behind and perished.  

So it’s a luck tinged with a gnawing sadness of what might have been, and an abiding anger towards the brutal nasty Nazis who were so blinded by their flawed fascist ideology.  Bea, with language that’s necessary but which also belies her sweet gentle nature, has no hesitation in calling those Nazis, especially the ones who bashed up and tried to belittle her dad, 'the shitty bastards'.  

Ten thousand mostly Jewish children were saved from death in the Holocaust by being transported just-in-time to the relative safety of England. It’s a wonderful story and needs to be told to countless future generations. But it should also be understood that those ten thousand rescued children amounted to less than 1% of the total number of children murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators.  Around 1.5 million completely innocent children were callously annihilated because people were poisoned by an idea that this was the right thing to do.  The same virus of a belief also drove previously civilized Europeans to slaughter and or subjugate millions of innocent adults during those years of vile fascist power.

To understand this history and to avoid its recurrence, we have to know the antidote to the virus of hate and abuse and intolerance.  Often, the virus starts slowly and in small ways, and only spreads and grows when people say and do nothing.  

In Nazi Germany, one of the first acts of government was to ‘suspend’ laws protecting human rights.  That’s something we must guard against ever happening again.  

In response to the appalling atrocities of the Nazi regime, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December 1948.  Two years later the Council of Europe drafted the European Convention on Human Rights, which came into force on 3 September 1953. In addition, respect for human rights is an essential component of all European Union treaties and are reinforced by the European Union's Charter of Fundamental Rights. These are vital, precious declarations that need to be cherished, preserved and upheld.  An act of inhumanity against one human, any human, is an act against all humanity.  

A few heroic stories this week. Mom sucks out snake venom 4 year old OK. Seeing Eye Dog almost sacrifices himself.

Proper Education Methods

This week via Menashe´s friend I learned that the so-called afternoon prayers that he was praying in school, he wasn’t. He kept lying to his friend with a straight face. “You want to bet that grades 7 and 8 pray? How much money?” That might be so but Menashe is finishing 4th grade. So I let it go. We were going to a Tanya Shuir which turned out to be on the Cohain’s blessing. Bamidbar 6:24 The LORD bless thee, and keep thee;  25 The LORD make His face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee; 26 The LORD lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. 
Before Menashe arrived, I told Rabbi Kochavi Shlita about the absence of the Mincha Prayer. So between the Tanya and the soul of a person from the well of souls and joining with HASHEM. I began to re-state the prayers in a unique way. If one prays Shachris, he gets: The LORD bless thee, and keep thee; If one prays Mincha, he gets: The LORD make His face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee; If one prays Maariv the gets: The LORD lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. So missing a prayer means missing a blessing this weakens a person and causes fear to come about.

The Rabbi put on a real teaching pose for Menashe and showed a blessing like behind the back vs. from a shining face. I don’t know how much it penetrated Menashe but we tried via pleasant ways.

Playing tag in the gas chambers how gross can you get:

Inyanay Diyoma

Turkey and ISIS a real love affair as the dream of greater Turkish Empire re-emerges:

Emergency Knesset meeting after Grad strikes near Ashkelon:

Fourth Iron Dome unit deployed near Rehovot as IDF gets ready from Beer Sheva and the 40km range.,7340,L-4665357,00.html

Ben Dror Yemini on Winston Churchill and the poo-pooing of campuses in 1935 emboldened Hitler.,7340,L-4664867,00.html

From Steven: Hiding the truth from the Senate on Iran:

A bit of a brimstone and fire editorial on my part: Last night the general in charge of Southern Command stated that we cannot go to war for a few rockets please read all links for the Torah standpoint vs. the non-religious actions of the Israeli Government. OUR SAGES OF BLESSED MEMORY WROTE IN MESECHES SHABBOS: “THAT IF A NON-JEW COMES TO STEAL STRAW FROM ERETZ YISRAEL ON SHABBOS, WE VIOLATE THE SHABBOS AND GO TO WAR AGAINST THEM.” – The Lubavitcher Rebbe. See “Can we trade land for peace” See also: Our Halacha and Torah is clear. And if you want to be a nice guy and only punish Gaza you close the border for a week or two not 24 hours as the G.O.I. did: Here is the general sprouting government policy:,7340,L-4665921,00.html From Brad: The definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results... it hasn't worked yet..... Why does anyone think it will work ever?

Don’t count on being a Sultan until it hatches:

This act of terror not called terror it is PC also the number of rockets and timing of the rockets 3 = 1 in Bibi’s PC book:

Ed-Op this man might take over the Likud after Netanyahu so read carefully.,7340,L-4665635,00.html

Israel tested the effects of a dirty radioactive bomb set off by terrorists big cities USA be wary as they come in from south of the border:   US Report on the effect of a Radiological Dispersal Device RDD on a population more terror than damage:

Oops UNWRA helping real refugees and not those living in 14 story refugee camps: Gazans Upset:

Inquisition is alive and well from Dr. Harry: In Brazil, Mr. José Fernando Schlosser, substitute headmaster of Federal University of Santa Maria, forced all Jewish students and teachers to sign a document to identify the Jews among them. The document was inspired on President Dilma Roussef politics of condamnation of Israel «crimes» against «Palestiniana People» and the names will be delivered to a Comitee of Solidarity With «Palestine». A few articles, with pictures of the complete document: I

Israeli soldiers took care of terrorist throwing explosives:

Ed-Op freedom of expression is fine but the tax payers don’t have to subsidize it: They want to claim that Israel is a criminal state? Let them make that claim. They want to put on a play inspired by a terrorist, murderer or rapist? Let them do that. But why do they think that Israel's citizens should fund their hateful words against the state?,7340,L-4666940,00.html

Arabs beat up and stole from Holocaust Survivors:,7340,L-4667461,00.html

Ashkelon: They fired but we don’t reply militarily:,7340,L-4667657,00.html

Have a restful Shabbos and stay healthy,
Rachamim Pauli