Thursday, November 26, 2015

Parsha Vayeitzei Part 2 and a few stories

Please continue praying for Yosef ben Shifra and remove Menachem Mendel ben Michal from the prayer list

Technical error: When I wrote the “prophecy” it was right after the Paris attack hence “in two weeks from now” but actually it is this week that we read Novi Ovadia.

Parsha Vayeitzei Part 2

30 And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years.

See the Drasha of Rabbi Jacobson Shlita on “Why stay married with a woman you hate.” Actually Yacov did not hate Leah, he hated being deceived but besides being buried with her he consults her and Rachel regarding Lavan. The non-religious don’t get the blessing “who has not made me a woman”. It means I have no travail of giving birth and I don’t have the patience to comfort crying babies. In Orthodox Judaism a woman is not an object to beat, abuse and have pleasure with but a true bone of my bones, flesh of my flesh. She is a best friend and companion. If she is not capable of being your best friend and companion don’t marry her or him as the case may be. Having more than one wife, Yacov had two best friends they did compete for his love and the special coat for Yosef also aroused negative feelings among the brothers. One must learn how to share the love around the children and in our Parsha wives.

31 And the LORD saw that Leah was hated, and he opened her womb; but Rachel was barren.

Not hated and despised but he showed less love towards her and did not afford her the same type of romantic comments.

32 And Leah conceived, and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben; for she said: ‘Because the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me.’

Literally see a son and this son will bring around the father more to me as fathers like to educate and play with their sons [my comment does not apply to rogues and welfare recipients but the norm.]

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

Literally heard me.

34 And she conceived again, and bore a son; and said: ‘Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have borne him three sons.’ Therefore was his name called Levi.

Literally my heart.

35 And she conceived again, and bore a son; and she said: ‘This time will I praise the LORD.’ Therefore she called his name Judah; and she left off bearing.

Literally to join (with me).

30:1 And when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and she said unto Jacob: ‘Give me children, or else I die.’ 2 And Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel; and he said: ‘Am I in God’s stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?’

As much as he loved Rachel he got angry at her for demanding children. He did not wish her not to have children but at this time it did not work out for her.

3 And she said: ‘Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; that she may bear upon my knees, and I also may be built up through her.’ 4 And she gave him Bilhah her handmaid to wife; and Jacob went in unto her. 5 And Bilhah conceived, and bore Jacob a son.

Like with Hagar using a surrogate mother but this time there was a pleasant relationship between Bilhah and Rachel. There is an Aggada told to me by Rabbi Tuvia Mushkin Shlita that actually they were sisters through Lavan’s slave woman whom he impregnated so Zilpah and Bilhah were half-sisters to the prime wives (see Lavan’s request from Yacov at the end of the Parsha and the wording).

6 And Rachel said: ‘God hath judged me, and hath also heard my voice, and hath given me a son.’ Therefore called she his name Dan.

Dan is a form of judging from the Din or Halacha.

7 And Bilhah Rachel’s handmaid conceived again, and bore Jacob a second son. 8 And Rachel said: ‘With mighty wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and have prevailed.’ And she called his name Naphtali.

Sort of wrestling or jousting to take out victory.

9 When Leah saw that she had left off bearing, she took Zilpah her handmaid, and gave her to Jacob to wife. 10 And Zilpah Leah’s handmaid bore Jacob a son. 11 And Leah said: ‘Fortune is come!’ And she called his name Gad.

Gad means both goat and luck in Hebrew this time it is mazel tov.

12 And Zilpah Leah’s handmaid bore Jacob a second son. 13 And Leah said: ‘Happy am I! for the daughters will call me happy.’ And she called his name Asher.
My father did not have a Hebrew name because of his father, but since he was named Felix, I named my second son, Asher.

14 And Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them unto his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah: ‘Give me, I pray thee, of thy son’s mandrakes.’

They supposedly have aphrodisiac powers so that Rachel can become pregnant.

15 And she said unto her: ‘Is it a small matter that thou hast taken away my husband? And would thou take away my son’s mandrakes also?’ And Rachel said: ‘Therefore he shall lie with thee to-night for thy son’s mandrakes.’ 16 And Jacob came from the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said: ‘Thou must come in unto me; for I have surely hired thee with my son’s mandrakes.’ And he lay with her that night.

It was Rachel’s turn tonight but I have rented or hired you from Rachel tonight.

17 And God hearkened unto Leah, and she conceived, and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18 And Leah said: ‘God hath given me my hire, because I gave my handmaid to my husband. And she called his name Issachar.

Because she hired Yacov she received this reward.

19 And Leah conceived again, and bore a sixth son to Jacob. 20 And Leah said: ‘God hath endowed me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have borne him six sons.’ And she called his name Zebulun.

In modern Hebrew the word has gone to mean more desert so I am happy that we get translated the original meanings.

21 And afterwards she bore a daughter, and called her name Dinah.

Similar to Dan but a female form.

22 And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb. 23 And she conceived, and bore a son, and said: ‘God hath taken away my reproach.’ 24 And she called his name Joseph, saying: ‘The LORD add to me another son.’

To add to.

25 And it came to pass, when Rachel had borne Joseph, that Jacob said unto Laban: ‘Send me away, that I may go unto mine own place, and to my country. 26 Give me my wives and my children for whom I have served thee, and let me go; for thou know my service wherewith I have served thee.’ 27 And Laban said unto him: ‘If now I have found favor in thine eyes—I have observed the signs, and the LORD hath blessed me for thy sake.’ 28 And he said: ‘Appoint me thy wages, and I will give it.’

Since you came, I have had sons and grown rich.

29 And he said unto him: ‘Thou know how I have served thee, and how thy cattle have fared with me. 30 For it was little which thou had before I came, and it hath increased abundantly; and the LORD hath blessed thee whithersoever I turned. And now when shall I provide for mine own house also?’ 31 And he said: ‘What shall I give thee?’ And Jacob said: ‘Thou shalt not give me aught; if thou wilt do this thing for me, I will again feed thy flock and keep it. 32 I will pass through all thy flock to-day, removing from thence every speckled and spotted one, and every dark one among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats; and of such shall be my hire. 33 So shall my righteousness witness against me hereafter, when thou shalt come to look over my hire that is before thee: every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and dark among the sheep, that if found with me shall be counted stolen.’

Seeing the goats and sheep before him, Laban thought he was getting a great deal.

34 And Laban said: ‘Behold, would it might be according to thy word.’ 35 And he removed that day the he-goats that were streaked and spotted, and all the she-goats that were speckled and spotted, every one that had white in it, and all the dark ones among the sheep, and gave them into the hand of his sons. 36 And he set three days’ journey betwixt himself and Jacob. And Jacob fed the rest of Laban’s flocks.

And this way there will be no confusion but wait Yacov knew the secret of creation that if the ewe or with humans thinks of her husband or the ewe sees the rods reflecting in the water at the moment of conception then the sheep or foal or child will look like the rods or the husband. It once happened that an African King came to Rabbi Akiva. His wife had given birth to an Albino and the King wanted to know if she committed adultery. Rabbi Akiva asked him what were the colors of the idols and he said ivory white. Rabbi Akiva told him that at the moment of conception she was thinking of his gods.

37 And Jacob took him rods of fresh poplar, and of the almond and of the plane-tree; and peeled white streaks in them, making the white appear which was in the rods. 38 And he set the rods which he had peeled over against the flocks in the gutters in the watering-troughs where the flocks came to drink; and they conceived when they came to drink. 39 And the flocks conceived at the sight of the rods, and the flocks brought forth streaked, speckled, and spotted. 40 And Jacob separated the lambs—he also set the faces of the flocks toward the streaked and all the dark in the flock of Laban—and put his own droves apart, and put them not unto Laban’s flock. 41 And it came to pass, whensoever the stronger of the flock did conceive, that Jacob laid the rods before the eyes of the flock in the gutters, that they might conceive among the rods; 42 but when the flock were feeble, he put them not in; so the feebler were Laban’s, and the stronger Jacob’s. 43 And the man increased exceedingly, and had large flocks, and maid-servants and men-servants, and camels and asses.

After he brought sons and riches to Lavan it was now his turn to master wealth for his labor.

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

He was not happy but what could he do? But then:

3 And the LORD said unto Jacob: ‘Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee.’ 4 And Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field unto his flock, 5 and said unto them: ‘I see your father’s countenance, that it is not toward me as beforetime; but the God of my father hath been with me. 6 And ye know that with all my power I have served your father. 7 And your father hath mocked me, and changed my wages ten times; but God suffered him not to hurt me. 8 If he said thus: The speckled shall be thy wages; then all the flock bore speckled; and if he said thus: The streaked shall be thy wages; then bore all the flock streaked. 9 Thus God hath taken away the cattle of your father, and given them to me. 10 And it came to pass at the time that the flock conceived, that I lifted up mine eyes, and saw in a dream, and, behold, the he-goats which leaped upon the flock were streaked, speckled, and grizzled. 11 And the angel of God said unto me in the dream: Jacob; and I said: Here am I. 12 And he said: Lift up now thine eyes, and see, all the he-goats which leap upon the flock are streaked, speckled, and grizzled; for I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee. 13 I am the God of Beth-el, where thou didst anoint a pillar, where thou didst vow a vow unto Me. Now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy nativity.’

Yacov wants to consult with his wives to see if they agree with him before making a move. He wants them and he wants to hear what they say.

14 And Rachel and Leah answered and said unto him: ‘Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father’s house? 15 Are we not accounted by him strangers? For he hath sold us, and hath also quite devoured our price. 16 For all the riches which God has taken away from our father, that is ours and our children’s. Now then, whatsoever God hath said unto thee, do.’

He got the answer that he hoped for.

17 Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives upon the camels; 18 and he carried away all his cattle, and all his substance which he had gathered, the cattle of his getting, which he had gathered in Paddan-aram, to go to Isaac his father unto the land of Canaan. 19 Now Laban was gone to shear his sheep. And Rachel stole the teraphim that were her father’s. 20 And Jacob outwitted Laban the Aramean, in that he told him not that he fled. 21 So he fled with all that he had; and he rose up, and passed over the River, and set his face toward the mountain of Gilead. 22 And it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob was fled. 23 And he took his brethren with him, and pursued after him seven days’ journey; and he overtook him in the mountain of Gilead.

He was about to rob and possibly kill Yacov.

24 And God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream of the night, and said unto him: ‘Take heed to thyself that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.’ 25 And Laban came up with Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the mountain; and Laban with his brethren pitched in the mountain of Gilead. 26 And Laban said to Jacob: ‘What hast thou done, that thou hast outwitted me, and carried away my daughters as though captives of the sword? 27 Wherefore didst thou flee secretly, and outwit me; and didst not tell me, that I might have sent thee away with mirth and with songs, with tabret and with harp; 28 and didst not suffer me to kiss my sons and my daughters? Now hast thou done foolishly.

This is his pretext.

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

Here is his true intent which was to hurt.

30 And now that thou art surely gone, because thou sore longest after thy father’s house, wherefore hast thou stolen my gods?’ 31 And Jacob answered and said to Laban: ‘Because I was afraid; for I said: Lest thou shouldest take thy daughters from me by force. 32 With whomsoever thou find thy gods, he shall not live; before our brethren discern thou what is thine with me, and take it to thee.’—For Jacob knew not that Rachel had stolen them.—

Rachel lived until she gave birth to Benyamin but giving birth is dangerous and here Yacov pronounced a death sentence upon her.

33 And Laban went into Jacob’s tent, and into Leah’s tent, and into the tent of the two maid-servants; but he found them not. And he went out of Leah’s tent, and entered into Rachel’s tent. 34 Now Rachel had taken the teraphim, and put them in the saddle of the camel, and sat upon them. And Laban felt about all the tent, but found them not. 35 And she said to her father: ‘Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise up before thee; for the manner of women is upon me.’ And he searched, but found not the teraphim. 36 And Jacob was wroth, and strove with Laban. And Jacob answered and said to Laban: ‘What is my trespass? What is my sin, that thou hast hotly pursued after me? 37 Whereas thou hast felt about all my stuff, what hast thou found of all thy household stuff? Set it here before my brethren and thy brethren, that they may judge betwixt us two. 38 These twenty years have I been with thee; thy ewes and thy she-goats have not cast their young, and the rams of thy flocks have I not eaten. 39 That which was torn of beasts I brought not unto thee; I bore the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night. 40 Thus I was: in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep fled from mine eyes. 41 These twenty years have I been in thy house: I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy flock; and thou hast changed my wages ten times. 42 Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the Fear of Isaac, had been on my side, surely now hadst thou sent me away empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labour of my hands, and gave judgment yesternight.’ 43 And Laban answered and said unto Jacob: ‘The daughters are my daughters, and the children are my children, and the flocks are my flocks, and all that thou seest is mine; and what can I do this day for these my daughters, or for their children whom they have borne? 44 And now come, let us make a covenant, I and thou; and let it be for a witness between me and thee.’ 45 And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar. 46 And Jacob said unto his brethren: ‘Gather stones’; and they took stones, and made a heap. And they did eat there by the heap. 47 And Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha; but Jacob called it Galeed. 48 And Laban said: ‘This heap is witness between me and thee this day.’ Therefore was the name of it called Galeed; 49 and Mizpah, for he said: ‘The LORD watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another. 50 If thou shalt afflict my daughters, and if thou shalt take wives beside my daughters, no man being with us; see, God is witness betwixt me and thee.’ 51 And Laban said to Jacob: ‘Behold this heap, and behold the pillar, which I have set up betwixt me and thee. 52 This heap be witness, and the pillar be witness, that I will not pass over this heap to thee, and that thou shalt not pass over this heap and this pillar unto me, for harm. 53 The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge betwixt us.’ And Jacob swore by the Fear of his father Isaac. 54 And Jacob offered a sacrifice in the mountain, and called his brethren to eat bread; and they did eat bread, and tarried all night in the mountain.
32:1 And early in the morning Laban rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them. And Laban departed, and returned unto his place. 2 And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. 3 And Jacob said when he saw them: ‘This is God’s camp.’ And he called the name of that place Mahanaim.

This was the changing of the guard of Angels that protected Yacov outside of Eretz Yisrael to those guarding Eretz Yisrael.

Due to a family Simcha Parsha Vayishlach will be delayed until next week Ble Neder.

Why Stay Married to a Wife You Hate? We Hate What We Don’t Understand By Rabbi YY Jacobson

A Doctors advice

A woman accompanied her husband to the doctor's office. After his checkup, the doctor called the wife into his office alone. He said, "Your husband is suffering from a very severe stress disorder. If you don't do the following, your husband will surely deteriorate and die.

"Each morning," instructed the doctor, "fix him a healthy breakfast. Be pleasant at all times. For lunch, make him a nutritious meal. For dinner, prepare an especially nice hot meal for him, and have it waiting for him when he comes home from work. Don't burden him with chores. Don't discuss your problems with him; it will only exacerbate his stress. No nagging is allowed. You also must compliment him at least five or six times a day, telling him how brilliant and talented he is. And most importantly, never disagree with him.

"If you can do this for the next 10 months to a year," the doctor said, "I think your husband will regain his health completely."

On the way home, the husband asked his wife, "What did the doctor say?"

"He said you're going to die," she replied. 

Jacob flees his home in Canaan and travels east to the house of Laban. Upon arriving, he meets Laban’s younger daughter Rachel and falls in love with her. Laban proposes a deal: work for me for seven years and I will give her to you in marriage. Jacob does so, but on the wedding night Laban substitutes Leah for Rachel. Leah enters the dark tent rather than Rachel. Jacob consummates the marriage, and discovered the deception only the next morning. Ultimately, Jacob accepted his fate and remained with Leah. But he later also married Rachel, the bride of his choice.

This is how the Torah describes it (Genesis 29):

30. And he [Jacob] cohabited with Rachel also, and he also loved Rachel more than Leah; and he worked with him yet another seven years.

31. And G-d saw that Leah was hated, so He opened her womb; but Rachel was barren.

32. And Leah conceived and bore a son, and she named him Reuben, for she said, "Because the Lord has seen my affliction, for now my husband will love me."

33. And she conceived again and bore a son, and she said, "Since the Lord has heard that I am hated, He gave me this one too." So she named him Simeon.

Did He Really Hate Her?

This is one of the most intriguing stories in all of the Tanach. It contains some of the profoundest ideas about relationships, love, and the workings of the human mind. But today I want to ask a simple question: How can Jacob hate his own wife, Leah? Jacob is the third Patriarch of Israel, the father of every Jew living since. Did he really hate his own spouse? And what lesson does this teach us? After all, Torah means “lesson.” The stories in Torah are not merely historical narratives, for only few stories are recorded. Each story constitutes a timeless lesson, a blueprint for our own lives.

In fact, the Talmud cautions us heavily against living with a spouse that we hate and despise. Either change your attitude or get out of the marriage. It is especially harmful for children of such a relationship. If Jacob really hated Leah why did he stay married to her?

There are many interpretations, spanning hundreds of years. The most original is found in the writings of the second Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Dov Ber, known as the Miteler Rebbe (1733-1828), the son of Rabbi Schnuer Zalman of Liadi, founder of Chabad. (The yahrzeit as well as the birthday of the Miteler Rebbe is this Shabbos, 9 Kislev, and the anniversary of his liberation from Czarist imprisonment is the following day, 10 Kislev).

Leah, he explains, was far deeper than Rachel. While Rachel represents the conscious self, the self that is projected, manifested and expressed in words and thoughts, Leah represents the unconscious self, or he super-conscious self—the components of identity that are hidden from the surface of our conscious experiences.

We each have our “Rachel” and our “Leah,” within ourselves, within our spouses, within our children, within our parents, siblings, and friends, within our entire lives—and in our experience of G-d. Rachel symbolizes those dimensions of your spouse that you comprehend, grasp, appreciate, and can control; you can wrap your brain around. Rachel represents those aspects of your children that you “get” and are comfortable with. Rachel reflects the parts of yourself that you can make sense of; those aspects of your psyche that you have come to terms with. Leah—oy my G-d!—represents the components of your spouse that challenge you, the aspects of your children that force you to reevaluate everything about yourself and your parenting, the dimensions of your identity that you have long ago repressed and they shock you.

Rachel is naturally loveable; Leah is naturally hated. Why? Here, the Miteler Rebbe makes a stunning observation:

People hate what they don't understand. They recoil from that which they can’t wrap their brains around; they fear that which they can't conquer; they loath that which they can’t control. I appreciate, love and enjoy that which I can assimilate into the modalities and structures of my identity, fit into my “box.” When I am faced with a reality that defies my comfort zone, it triggers deep uncomfort in me, it scares and overwhelms me. It makes me feel vulnerable, it forces me to give up control, it informs me of how much I have been blacking out of my system in order to survive. So what do I do? I hate it! That allows me to ignore it and move on.

Rachel is "the shapely and beautiful” woman; she is attractive and beautiful. We love Rachel because we “get her,” and we appreciate what we get. In Hebrew Rachel means "ewe," an animal characterized by its bright white color and its serene and lovable nature. The numerology of the Hebrew name Rachel, 238, is the same as the numerology of the Hebrew words “Vayehe Ohr,” "and there was light." Rachel is light. She is our projected self, she embodies the light which we allows us to observe and understand.

Leah is derived from the Hebrew word “nileh,” exhaustion. She embodies an infinite depth that tires us out—it perplexes, confuses and overwhelms us. We don’t “see” Leah; we are just made uncomfortable by her. You can’t see your unconscious. Your finite eyes can’t reach it.

How do you encounter Leah? Never consciously. Jacob can’t enter into a relationship with Leah by choice. Leah always surprises us. It is not something we get ready for—because that which we prepare ourselves for is always a reflection of our own aspirations and expectations. Leah represents the realities of life that defy our constructs and hence we encounter them “by mistake.” Things that transcend your systems enter into your lives via unconscious pathways.

Jacob understood this. Slowly, he learnt to appreciate, respect and love Leah. We too must discover this ability within ourselves. Those aspects in your life that you run away from most—may contain the deepest “tikunim” for you; those aspects in your spouse that irk you most, may hold the secret to your recovery; those aspects in your relationships that challenge some deep emotions in you, may contain the key to a new level of self-discovery.

Sometimes we hate things because they are bad for us. But not always. Some things we hate because we are scared of their truth; or because we are scared to open ourselves to unknown horizons. We hate them because they makes us feel ignorant and vulnerable.

Yet as the Torah puts it so shockingly simple and profound: “And G-d saw that Leah was hated, so He opened her womb; but Rachel was barren.” It is often in that which are so afraid of that allows us to give birth to our deepest soul-powers. From surrounding yourself only with things and people that make you feel in control, you remain barren. By exposing yourself to the unknown, you can give birth to greatness.
[1] Genesis ch. 29
[1] Nedarim 20b.
[1] Toras Chaim Vayeitzei p. 168. This is based on a discourse by his father, Maamarei Admur Hazaken 5572 p. 100; 102.
[1] Yonas Alem by Rabbi Menachem Azaryah of Fano (1548-1620) Chapter 5; explained in Likkutei Sichos vol. 30 p. 286.
[1] Torah Chaim Vayeitzei 169a. Maamarei Admur Hazaken 5572 p. 100; 102.


Sold into Slavery by Rabbi Yerachmiel Tilles

Two friends who lived in a large Jewish community in the Turkish Empire would once a year journey together, traveling from town to town, as peddlers. One year, they did not return. Weeks and months passed without any word; they had simply disappeared.

A few years went by, but their fate remained a mystery. Their families and friends lost hope -- "They are gone, we must admit... forever." 

Then, to the amazement of the whole town, one of the missing men returned, He was exhausted from weeks of trekking through harsh wilderness, lost and frightened. After resting a bit, he told the following story:

While passing from town to town, selling our humble wares, bandits ambushed us. They beat us, robbed us of what little money we possessed, and...And sold us as slaves to Arab merchants. We suffered for many months, prisoners, journeying with an Arab caravan through distant lands. They in turn also sold us as slaves, in some faraway Arab nation. Our new masters assigned us to ward their flocks and herds.

I cared for the horses, while my dear friend watched over the sheep. Occasionally, we would manage to meet secretly, on the prairies, despairing over our misfortune, dreaming of escape, yearning for freedom. But we knew we lacked any real hope. Prisoners we were, and so would we remain -- slaves, in an alien, distant land -- till the end of our days. 

One day, sneaking through the prairies to meet with my friend, I found him sprawled on the ground, his sheep nowhere to be seen. Upon closer inspection, I perceived he was unconscious, and bound in ropes. His body appeared severely beaten and bruised, as if he had been maliciously thrashed.

I tended to him as best I could. Slowly, he regained consciousness. When I asked him, "What happened to you, dear brother?" he replied, "Two days ago, a wolf attacked the flock, snagging a sheep, despite my efforts to drive the dreadful beast away. A nearby Arab witnessed the event, but instead of assisting me, he just stood there and watched, grinning. Then he ran off to report the event to our master. The master beat me, oh so terribly. 'If ever this occurs again,' he warned, 'I guarantee you a dreadful, horrendous death.' And yesterday... yesterday, the wolves returned, again." 

Chocking and sobbing, he continued, "I tried to protect the flock. Really, I tried my hardest! But the wolves attacked from all sides. One of the vicious beasts grabbed a tender lamb, eagerly devouring the succulent meat. I screamed for help, and many Arabs came promptly and chased away the wolves. But, as before, another sheep had been slaughtered. Then the owner arrived, steaming with rage.

"Furious, he beat me, severely. Finally, he stopped, but only to go back to the village to procure his sword. On the verge of death, I collapsed…and so you found me." With a blank look, he continued, "When he returns, I am a dead man!"

"Please," I begged, "allow me to help. Let me free you from your bonds." 

He refused, however, insisting, "We won't be able to escape far, for the Arabs will pursue us and kill us both. I can't allow myself to be responsible for your death too. Please, promise me just this: that I have a proper Jewish burial, according to Jewish Law." 

"I returned, at night, and saw his body bound, as before. He displayed no signs of life. Tears, streaming from my eyes, I buried him. Some months later, G-d Al-mighty saved me, miraculously. I managed to flee the savage bondage, and here I am." 

* * *

Now, the Rabbis had to determine the status of the wife of the deceased. Certainly, he died, for his companion, who escaped, had buried him. The rabbis, however, were reluctant to declare her a widow immediately, which would allow her to marry another man. They decided to deliberate the matter further.

One day, a distinguished guest Torah scholar from the Holy Land, Rabbi Yaakov-Shimshon of Shepetovka, arrived in the town. It was not so long ago that he had moved to Israel, but, grieved by the economic stress of the Jews in the Holy Land, he annually made a trip to the countries of the West, gathering money for the struggling communities there.

The Rabbis decided to consult Rabbi Yaakov Shimshon about the woman whose husband, according to the account of his surviving friend, had passed away. The famed scholar requested the witness to tell his story, one more time. After hearing it from beginning to end, he inquired, "And his face you saw, I suppose."

"Not exactly," answered the witness. "It was dark, nearly midnight, but without doubt, he was lying there dead in the exact same place where I had left him, a few hours earlier, bound in ropes." 

Rabbi Yaakov Shimshon pondered all the details of the case and the laws of the issue. Finally, he ruled, "It is impossible to release the agunah (the woman of undeterminable marital status) from her marriage on the basis of this testimony. Perhaps her husband escaped, and another man was buried in his place."

The Jews of the city reacted with mixed feelings. They were to unable to swallow the guest rabbi's verdict, which clearly was based on the most unlikely of possibilities. How they pitied the poor woman . Why shouldn't be allowed to remarry, after all?

* * *

More time passed. Early one morning, the agunah noticed a man standing in her doorway. He resembled her husband! Could it be? After so many years? 

She fainted. When she revived she started sobbing from joy--exhilarated, yet so confused. "My husband! After all this time! I had given up hope! It seemed certain you were dead. Yet, here you are! I'm so happy! I'm so grateful to the One Above!" 

* * *

The incident fascinated the whole city. Everyone waited eagerly for her husband's explanation
"I lay in the field, awaiting the hour of my passing, as my dear friend told you. I prayed and prayed to the Al-mighty, begging for His help, that He should have mercy on me and save me. While praying, on the verge of despair, I noticed the very same Arab who had informed on me, he who set in motion the process about to end my life. He approached me, and inquired, 'Why are you bound in these ropes?' At that moment, an idea popped into my head. This is G-d providing a possibility for my escape. Here was my chance! 

"I told the Arab, 'What happened is that I discovered a terrible secret about my master's daughter. Immediately he insisted that I marry her, since I knew her secret. I tried to explain this to him that since I am Jewish, I could never marry a non-Jew (Heaven forbid), and he became wild with rage. He beat me severely, as you can see, bound me here, and then left to the city, to fetch his sword so he could violently decapitate me upon his return.

"'He did offer, though, that if I change my mind and agree to marry her, he would not harm me further. In fact, he said, he would reward me. It is very difficult for me because my refusal will cost me my life and she is so beautiful and charming. Nevertheless, she is a non-Jew and I shall die, instead of so much as touching her, let alone marrying her. Alas, she is so, so beautiful and charming.'

"The Arab, after hearing my fanciful story, said, 'please, allow me to help you. From what I have heard people saying, I can believe she is as charming and gorgeous as you say. Let us change places! You tell me the secret, and then we will switch clothes and you can bind me in these ropes in the same manner that you were tied. Then you will live and I will acquire his precious daughter, as a wife!'

"Keeping a straight face, I agreed. 'Okay, I will do this favor for you, if you wish. But you understand that I will have to beat you so that you have similar wounds.' 

The Arab thought only for a few moments and then agreed again. 'It is worth it to acquire such a beautiful wife from such a wealthy family!'
I gave the Arab my clothes, tied him up with the ropes which, moments ago, bound me for death, until this Arab, sent from Heaven, released me, only to take my place. After he was bound tight -- and firmly beaten too, just to make sure -- I told the Arab the most absurd 'secret' I could fabricate. Then I ran off as fast as I could.

No one pursued me, thanks to the G-d of Israel. After months journeying, I made it home safely, alive and well. Blessed be He for sparing my life!"

* * *

Overwhelmed with joy and compassion, the community enthusiastically welcomed him back. Now, also, they called on each other to recognize the saintly insight of Rabbi Yaakov Shimshon, who, amazingly, did not allow the supposed widow to remarry. Somehow he knew that her husband had not quite passed from this world.

Source: Freely adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from the translation found on from an audio tape of the recently deceased tzadik of Jerusalem and Lubavitcher chasid, Rabbi Moshe Weber. (To obtain tapes from the vast collection, : "Shemu ViTachi Nafshechem" ("Hear and Your Soul Shall Live"), contact Ido Ehrlich-Weber at 972-2 682-8284, or 

Connection: Weekly Reading -- Gen. 31:38-40--exposed to elements while guarding the flock.

Biographical note:
Rabbi Yaakov Shimshon of Shepetovka [? - 3 Sivan 5561 (? - May 1801)], a descendant of Rabbi Shimshon of Ostropole, was a student of the Maggid of Mezritch and Rabbi Pinchus of Karitz and a close friend of Rabbi Boruch of Mezibuz. As a great authority in Jewish Law, he earned considerable respect also in rabbinic circles. In 1794 (according to, he moved to Israel and settled in Tiberias, where he is buried.

Chashgacha from Miriam: The most incredible and amazing thing happened to me today/tonight!!! 
I was in the city buying some Chanukah stuff and Kosher food. When I wheeled the shopping cart to the parking lot the wheels of the cart got stuck in a groove. Just when I was contemplating how I could move the cart since I couldn't budge it, a man (about my age) and his grandson were walking towards me and asked if they could help. I of course said "Yes" and they got the cart into the parking lot for me. Then they asked if I needed help getting the cart to my car and unloading all the groceries. I said that I could manage and gave them a big thank you. 
Then I was hungry for dinner and contemplated the pizza place or Kosher Chinese. My budget was tight but I decided to treat myself and get the Chinese even though I really couldn't afford to do so. The place was packed. After I waited for at least 20 to 30 minutes for a table, all of a sudden the man's grandson (the ones from the parking lot!) came up to me with a plate of scallion pancakes and asked me if I wanted one. I was extremely hungry so I said "thanks so much" and took a pancake. Then I stupidly asked if I could dip it in the sauce (what a dolt I can be sometimes) so I went up to their table. I dipped and we talked for a few minutes. Both of them were so kind. I was actually rather surprised that they were also at this restaurant. Finally I got a table on the other side of the room and I couldn't see their table and had no idea if they were still here. After I ordered and ate a delicious chicken dish, I gave the waitress my debit card with the check. Then a funny thought came into my mind...I have no idea why this popped into my head. I thought wouldn't it be funny if the man paid for my dinner! LOL! Then the waitress came to my table, handed me back my debit card and told me that my dinner was already paid for!!!! I was amazed and as I laughed I went up to the man and his grandson at their table and thanked them very much. We talked for about 10 minutes and it was just delightful. I told them that I feel like they are my Guardian Angels...the man replied, "Yes, just for tonight". What are the chances that someone (a stranger) will do 3 mitzvot for you in a short space of time? G-d bless them! And I wondered why I deserved this and thought maybe when I was in the Israel book store paying for a few Chanukah goodies for my grandchildren, I noticed several charity boxes. My instinct said that I should put some coins in one of them since I didn't think I did a special mitzvah today. I chose the box for Magen David to help the ambulances in Israel and put in 4 quarters. It felt good to do this. I truly feel blessed by G-d!

Thanks to Miriam - Message from the Rebbe: Although the Rebbe is no longer among us for 21 years his Neshama guides us. English Subtitles.

Inyanay Diyoma

From Shona the verse in the Koran 5:32 is what Allah ordained for the Jews if you read it. 5:33 for Muslims is to cut off their hands and feet and crucify them but only part of the first verse is quoted by what G. W. Bush called “The religion of peace” and the quote is out of context and describes Jews. Other videos of this man are pure Christianity and perhaps missionizing.

Another driving attack or smuggling weapons or bombs attack:

Belgistan wakes up a bit late in the game to the chemical terror attack threat. I was told years ago by Jews there not to visit.

In Cameroon 6 died from an explosive device set off by members of “the religion of peace” and Israeli died in the Mali attack:,7340,L-4728789,00.html

Kiriat Gat attacker from Chevron and two helpers caught after a building to building manhunt with police and troops.,7340,L-4728871,00.html

Former politician helps neutralize terrorist on Har Gerizim:

Sunday is starting as a terror day after the above incident possible shooting on or near Kfar Adumim,
stabbing or attempted stabbing near Yerushalayim victim OK.

In the third attack the victim and murderer both die.

While one store chain returns Golan Wine from their shelves fear engulfs Europe:,7340,L-4728361,00.html
Later the chain store apologized as Golan Wines are labeled Golan all the time.

I don’t know if Ezra Schwartz was even buried in Boston when this young woman was murdered by a knife.,7340,L-4729473,00.html

The post about Boko Haram gassing 105 Nigerian Soldiers may have been their Propaganda Blog which I picked up from a Jewish Group so I removed it.
Four attacks on Monday an 80 year old Arab and another man injured and then a man murdered at a cheap gas station in the other direction a woman was injured by a stray soldier’s bullety also a hit and run terror attack in the Shomron. Another terrorist was killed in the Shomron.,7340,L-4729699,00.html
This was the attempted stabbing attack mentioned above.

Iran gets S-300 anti-aircraft missile:,7340,L-4729778,00.html

Victim of Monday’s attack identified as soldier:
After being stabbed in the heart, Ziv managed to kill the terrorist as he attacked his female officer saving her life.

State Dept. Issues a worldwide travel alert in order to stay safe, Kerry arrives in Israel.

Homicide car attack but the terrorist lives:

Embolden Yarden has Chutzpa wants quota but Erdan denies them this:

IAF rebombs same empty buildings in Gaza as the last strike who are they trying to appease?,7340,L-4730021,00.html

After they hit Sarah Netanyahu the terrorist attacks will die down with these wimps in charge.

Truncated msg. from Dr. Harry: If we truly do want to get rid of ISIS, why aren’t we doing anything about the Islamic governments that are funding them, aiding them and facilitating the sale of their oil? As you will see below, ISIS fighters hop back and forth over the Turkish border with impunity, there are “direct dealings between Turkish officials and ranking ISIS members”, and more than $800,000,000 worth of ISIS oil has been sold in Turkey. If these things are true, action must be taken. According to a recent Rasmussen Reports survey, 92 percent of Americans consider Islamic terrorism to be a serious threat to the United States, and a Washington Post-ABC News survey found that 83 percent of registered voters believe that a terror attack that causes a large amount of casualties inside the United States is likely in the near future. The American people clearly want ISIS to be dealt with, so why isn’t the Obama administration doing anything to go after the state sponsors of such terror?

At this point, most Americans have absolutely no idea what is taking place in Iraq and Syria, and the mainstream media is certainly not being straight with us. That is why I want to share with you some key excerpts from an amazing article that was written by award-winning journalist and best-selling author Dr. Nafeez Ahmed. According to his bio, he has “written for the Independent on Sunday, The Independent, The Scotsman, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Huffington Post, New Statesman, Prospect Magazine, Le Monde Diplomatique, among many others.” His recent article entitled “NATO is harbouring the Islamic State” is a must read. In particular, what he has to say about the relationship between the Turkish government and ISIS is extremely eye opening…

A senior Western official familiar with a large cache of intelligence obtained this summer from a major raid on an ISIS safehouse told the Guardian that “direct dealings between Turkish officials and ranking ISIS members was now ‘undeniable.’”

The same official confirmed that Turkey, a longstanding member of NATO, is not just supporting ISIS, but also other jihadist groups, including Ahrar al-Sham and Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria. “The distinctions they draw [with other opposition groups] are thin indeed,” said the official. “There is no doubt at all that they militarily cooperate with both.”

But it isn’t just that Turkey and ISIS have “direct dealings” with each other. In his article, Ahmed goes on to explain that ISIS uses Turkish territory as a home base from which to conduct attacks, and ISIS trucks are able to travel back and forth across the border and throughout Turkey quite freely…

The former ISIS fighter told Newsweek that Turkey was allowing ISIS trucks from Raqqa to cross the “border, through Turkey and then back across the border to attack Syrian Kurds in the city of Serekaniye in northern Syria in February.” ISIS militants would freely travel “through Turkey in a convoy of trucks,” and stop “at safehouses along the way.”

The former ISIS communication technician also admitted that he would routinely “connect ISIS field captains and commanders from Syria with people in Turkey on innumerable occasions,” adding that “the people they talked to were Turkish officials… ISIS commanders told us to fear nothing at all because there was full cooperation with the Turks.” BUT TO MAKE TROUBLE WITH THE RUSSIANS THESE GUYS ARE GREAT.,7340,L-4730177,00.html

The State Department alerts U.S. citizens to possible risks of travel due to increased terrorist threats.  Current information suggests that ISIL (aka Da’esh), al-Qa’ida, Boko Haram, and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions.  These attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics, using conventional and non-conventional weapons and targeting both official and private interests.  This Travel Alert expires on February 24, 2016.

Authorities believe the likelihood of terror attacks will continue as members of ISIL/Da’esh return from Syria and Iraq.  Additionally, there is a continuing threat from unaffiliated persons planning attacks inspired by major terrorist organizations but conducted on an individual basis.  Extremists have targeted large sporting events, theatres, open markets, and aviation services.  In the past year, there have been multiple attacks in France, Nigeria, Denmark, Turkey, and Mali.  ISIL/Da’esh has claimed responsibility for the bombing of a Russian airliner in Egypt. 

From Dr. Harry: Seventy French police backed by two security helicopters have raided the home of a radical Muslim preacher in the Pyrenees.

The raid in the town of Artigat on Tuesday targeted Olivier Corel, according to an official with the gendarme service. It is part of stepped-up security measures under a state of emergency declared in the wake of Nov. 13 attacks that killed at least 130 people in addition to seven Islamic extremist attackers.

Authorities believe Corel lodged Fabien Clain, reported to have been the voice on an Islamic State French-language claim of responsibility for the Paris attacks. Clain was convicted in 2009 for involvement in a network sending extremist fighters to Iraq.

Corel is also believed to have figured in the religious life of Frenchman Mohammed Merah, who killed a rabbi, three children at a Jewish school and three paratroopers in southern France in 2012.

Amendment to the citizenship law for treason if voted into law will cancel citizenship:

A review summary of Syrian Airspace with 14 air forces there after Turkey shoots down a Russian Plane:,7340,L-4730467,00.html

Considering exiling terrorist families even of second level to Gaza:,7340,L-4730227,00.html

Israel hit anti-tank missiles in Syria per Saudi report:

Wednesday an Israeli Soldier was stabbed in the neck a lot of blood loss but not in danger to his life:

While in Tunis 13 members of the president’s guard blown up and the Libyan Border closed some left leaning generals preventing religious from rising in the ranks propose absurd things for rewarding terror:,7340,L-4731005,00.html

The antisemitism in the Ukraine resulted in another attack on Jews and frankly I could not care less if kill off all the Cossacks or vice versa. Regarding the Russian and Turkish dispute:

Traffic accident in the Shomron one dead 41 injured as bus overturns. The causality was a female soldier,7340,L-4731337,00.html

So when a left wing general makes a proposal nobody does anything against but on the right.

Have a Happy Chanucha and a wonderful Shabbos,

Rachamim Pauli